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Second Class Petty Officers
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About rogus

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    E-4 Petty Officer 3rd Class
  1. Thanks Pete. But for once I rally don't know if it's worth it.
  2. Berta & Vike - As you can probably guess I was aliitle steamed when I wrote that posting. Sometimes I vent without realizing that other people aren't aware of the full situation to which I am refering. For which I apologize. Unless I went into a lot of background into my personal life - which I won't do here - my situation is relatively hard to understand. I am claiming aggravation of a pre-existing condition which I was treated for as an outpatient between the ages of 16 and 18. When I was 22 I joined the military admitting that I had had past problems but was deemed fit for service. I sought help for these problems (which i thought I had resolved) approxiamately 4/5 monthes after joining the USAF. I went to the mental health clinic on base for these problems - which is documented in my military records as being treated for depression. I listed the illness as an aggravator to my condition because of the constant physical pain that it has left me in ever since. I am sure that you can understand that when you mix depression with constant physical pain other psych problems are going to emerge - at least that is my understanding. Both my C&P exams concluded :PTSD, Chronic Major depression with Psychotic features. For 3 years prior to enlisting between the ages of 19 - 22 I had none of that. I held a steady job, had my own place, paid my own bills and even travelled. There are a number of other stressors involved here which were examined during my C&P exams. I guess the over simplification of my case is: I was deemed fit going in and when I came out I was suicidal, and diagnosed as having PTSD, Chronic Major depression with Psychotic features which 2 seperate VA C&P doctors - 4 years apart - attribute to my experiences in the military. My training is in computers not psychology. I have to assume that these doctors that are telling me this have some clue as to what their talking about. I realize that I often don't explain myself well. For that I apologize. Also I would like to thank Berta and Vike for all their help. By the way I asked for Admin Review because I mistakenly thought they would specifically address why I was wrong in putting for the arguments that I did. Obviously I was mistaken.
  3. Aftyer six monthes of waiting for an ADMIN Review of my case it seems clear that VARO employees can't read. They seem to have no understanding of the rule on a "presumptive period". They admit that in a previous denial letter that they have records of me being "hospitalized" for my claimed condition within a year of discharge from active duty. Yet they claim I have to have been diagnosed with this condition while on active duty. Is it just me or does that argument for denial totally ignore the reason for having a "presumptive period". And of course they are still claiming that I didn't list a specific stressor although I did list that an illness that almost killed me - left me unconscious for 3 days , in constant pain for over 14 years and my insides totally screwed up - that is listed in my service emdical records. My VSO (that I trust) said this is just a case of some idiot trying to save the VA money instead of doing their job - after reading posts on this forum I believe it. Isn't there some way to sue these idiots that are purposely ignoring the evidence and rules? Interfering with a federal investigation or something?
  4. I too suffer from psych problems that ferequently manifest themselves physiclly including: Chest pain tightness in the chest trouble breathing spasms (convulsions) severe neck and head pain temporary loss of motor co-ordination Hyperventilation occasional or frequent inability to process what you are seeing. For example seeing oncoming traffic or traffic lights changing without being able to distinguish the importance or meaning of such events. Ofcourse these condition become worse inrelationship to the amount of strain i am under. The more strain the worse the symptoms. Also IBS is often associated with pysch problems such as PTSD and depression. In my case this includes: Chronic abdominal pain which never goes away. Chronic diarhea Dehydration Sensitivity to heat which causes physical illness
  5. Selective, appearantly so do the TV stations, the newspapers and everyone else I have tried to contact about this. Is violence the only thing that's going to get peopes attention?
  6. As some of you know I contacted the ACLU recently and provided them with numourous documents about VA fraud and their treatment of vets. As some of you guessed they have refused to help. Am I like the last person on earth to know about what's going on and no-one cares or what?? Rogus
  7. Finanlly got everything organized and mailed today. The ACLU office in Kansas City MO should have it by Tuesday.
  8. foreveryoung - Trust me this kind of thing permeates the VA. Even if she were offered her job back it would be a poor decision to accept. I know neither my wife or I would accept our old jobs back at the VA in Wichita because of the unethical if not outright illegal things that go on there. Rogus
  9. Vickie - From what I understand she was told she was fired due to poor performance even though up to that point she had won several performance awards. There was an in house hearing convened where she could state her case. Having been involved in one of these hearings myself I can tell you they are anything but fair or impartial (I was asked to testify at one but wouldn't stabb my co-workers in the back). In fact the both my wife and I were victims of this kind of treatment when we worked at the VA. I can verify through personal experience that a number of the things she mentions do go on at the VA. Rogus
  10. Terry - The Va in Muskogee decided to CUE themselves in 2004 and then after several NOD's they cut it in 2005. Heres the basc timeline: 1998 - applied for rating got C&P done in Topeka that stated quite clearly that this was service connected. Was denied service connection. Continued to fight the case. 2002 - Another C&P exam in Topeka (by a different doctor) again stating my condition was service connected. In 2002 I was in the psych hospital twice. claim finally awarded and back dated to 1998. 2004 - notified claim was going to be severed in April 2005 Filed multpile NOD's 2005 - April 2005 service connection severed. Basically the claim had been in effect for 5 years (since it was back dated to 1998) when it was severed. Although I sent them a NOD that listed specifically which VA reg's and COVA and BVA rulings they were breaking I am still fighting to get my claim reinstated.
  11. Just so you know - This person was fired after writing this letter.
  12. Morgan - I can't get it to work either. My email is ranchors@cox.net if you want to email me. Pete - wish I could say the same thing about Muskogee. That's where i am having all the trouble. I found several VA reg's and multilple BVA and Cova rulings they have broken when they severed my service connection. Even though I have spelled them out to Muskogee they don't want to admit their mistake.
  13. I was recently contacted by a former VARO employee that sent me this letter. I am with holding her name for her sake. It's interesting reading about someone actually acknlowdging whats happening at the VA. Office of Senator James Inhofe 1924 S Utica Suite 530 Tulsa OK 74104 This is a request for help resolving some issues at a government agency that has been using practices that are grossly unethical, and are resulting in treatment to our veterans of the armed forces that is unfair, and heartbreaking in many instances. My hope is that this letter will instigate an investigation and correct this increasing problem before a larger one is created. I would like to state for the record, however, that I am requesting this letter not be forwarded to the office I am referring to, as I have exhausted all possible resources at this facility seeking a change in operations, and am now in fear of losing my job for having brought this to the attention of higher authorities. The facility I am referring to is the Education Division of the Department of Veterans Affairs in Muskogee Oklahoma. Attached is a copy of the “Performance Awards Program For VBA Field Operations” that was implemented recently. Since this program began the education department has been kept under such intense pressure to increase production levels and lower timeliness that it has resulted in the accuracy and quality of the claims processing to suffer inexcusably. The disregard for quality processing is not harmless, but is adversely affecting the lives of our service men and women. This program has been destructive, exposing selfishness and greed, rewarding bad service and making it almost impossible to give good service. I understand we processed approximately 467,000 claims in 2003. The current system being used to ensure quality control audits 400 files per year by our Central Office. I can assure you that based on what I see as a claims processor, this is not an accurate representative sample of the work we are doing and obviously not sufficient to prevent the overall absence of concern for accuracy. I have been warned by supervisors and managers to stop worrying about accuracy and start worrying about production. I’ve also been told to stop correcting errors I see that have previously been made because it takes too much time. We are instructed to work only the most recent document in file, not to look the documents that are already in file. There are a lot of errors that never get corrected. When we get instructions for processing something and realize that the entire office has been processing it incorrectly, we do not make any attempt to correct the ones that we know have been done incorrectly. We are not processing the claims correctly for our service people that have been called to active duty from the 9-11 terrorist attack. We are not restoring their entitlement when they are called to active duty and have to drop out of college. We are not extending their delimiting date to give them longer to use their benefits because they are gone. Benefits are being stopped at the wrong time creating overpayments for money that they are entitled to. I brought a case like this to the attention of 3 supervisors by email hoping they would give refresher training with so many servicemen and women being activated and so many of our new processors not knowing how to process them. We had made several mistakes underpaying her approximately $1300, not restoring about 3 months of entitlement when she had to withdraw from school in October 2001, and also not entering her additional service for the time she was on active duty. The supervisors never responded to my email. One of the supervisors processed the enrollment for her new term without correcting any of these things. When I asked her about it she told me we do not have time to go back 2 years fixing mistakes. I hope I can find someone that will agree with me that it is not acceptable to blatantly ignore mistakes that cost our veterans money we promise them when they volunteer to serve our country, especially with the reason being to get more money for our office. Our veterans cannot be expected to understand all of our rules and regulations, and the never-ending changes, to figure out that we have incorrectly processed his or her claim, creating havoc in their lives and we don’t even give it a thought. This is a numbers job, and we don’t even think about those numbers representing people. There are numerous unethical and corrupt strategies, tactics, procedures, etc. this office practices to meet the criteria for the sole purpose of receiving more recognition and awards, with blatant disregard for the affect it has on our claimants. Our work is measured only by production (the number of claims processed). We have a lot of work that needs to be done that doesn’t count because it is not a processed claim. Since the awards are distributed based on the number of claims processed, this encourages doing only work that counts, causing our quality of work to suffer and service to our veterans is meaningless. After several attempts to lay out just a few examples of how we are not upholding our duty to our service men, women, and veterans, and ending up feeling so frustrated and overwhelmed I decided to just state that I have extensive documentation and evidence to show these accusations are true. The Education Division is in constant chaos and terribly inefficient. Our leaders do not have the organizational skills and qualifications needed to be in the positions they are in. It appears that most of our management staff consists of employees that started in this office at a young age, and have little if any, knowledge of operating effectively and efficiently. I think all these positions are filled with in-office promotions or through nepotism and these people follow their leaders blindly. This is a small town and we have a problem with nepotism that starts with our Regional Director. I understand that he is originally from Muskogee has had more friends and relatives hired and promoted here than anyone. Higher-grade positions have been created for friends and relatives. If these vacancies are announced, it’s usually pretty obvious they are pre-selected and are written to limit the people eligible to apply for them. This is not run like a government agency, but more like a private business run by the hometown Good Ole Boys. They make their own rules, abuse their authority, treat employees unfairly, and in some ways I’m sure are unlawful. They have intimidated and harassed employees to the point of them filing for disability or resigning. If they are unsuccessful doing this, they will find some way to “remove” an employee. We feel that we have no recourse and we have an office full of employees with a morale that couldn’t possibly get much lower and a stress level that is dangerously high. As I stated in the beginning of this letter, this is a sensitive issue in this office; most employees are too fearful of the reprisal they would receive if they complained, but if questioned in an investigation and felt that it would remain confidential, would be truthful. This is a very small picture of the turmoil and confusion this office is in; and I would appreciate the opportunity to furnish any information or evidence to help resolve this injustice. I am requesting the recipient of this letter to please notify, or direct, me to the correct government agency that could investigate this. I would appreciate the opportunity to furnish any information or evidence to help resolve this injustice. If we won’t consider the ethical question raised throughout this letter, then I hope someone will at least consider the huge bad faith exposure our government has with this situation. If a large number of veterans ever became aware of how we incorrectly compensate them for the service they provided to us, I am afraid the impending lawsuits that could create would cost our government millions of taxpayers dollars, when some resources invested now might prevent this kind of thing from ever happening. Thank you for your time and I will look forward to hearing from someone on this matter.
  14. Well, I look at it this way. I can sit around and wait for the VA to do the right thing or I can take what little action I can. I got all this info shame to let it sit on my desk.
  15. This is the cover letter I plan on sending to the ACLU. I would appreciate any comments or corrections before I send it. To: American Civil Liberties Union From: Robert L. Anchors Wichita Kansas Dear Sir/Madam; I am writing in hopes that you may be able to help United States military veterans that are facing what has now become institutionalized fraud against disabled veterans. As you may be aware disabled veterans may file for disability payments based on injuries that occurred while on active duty at their nearest Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO). This process is similar to applying for Social Security Disability benefits in that documentation of events is gathered and medical examinations are both required and performed by or for the requesting agency (Social Security Administration or The Department of Veteran Affairs). However that is where the similarity ends. Unlike applying for Social Security benefits a veteran is forbidden by law to initially hire an attorney to handle his/her case before the VA. Even though there is currently a law pending to allow veterans this right to legal representation it will do little to stem the fraud perpetuated against veterans applying for benefits. Chief Judge Frank Nebeker, Court of Veterans Appeals, states the problem quite clearly in his State of the Court address before Congress (1994): “ Neither the Court, through the Board, the Board, nor the General Counsel has direct and meaningful control over the Agencies of Original Jurisdiction… Many ROs appear to do what they think they must when they get around to it…. The attitude in at least some of the ROs seems to be "I don't care what the Court says the law is. I care only what my boss says it is." Although this was over a decade ago I submit evidence that veterans are still being denied due process of law. According to the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) in a letter to House Representative Lane Evans (2005): “It has been an often repeated inventory reduction tactic by VA managers and supervisors articulated to VBA employee’s as ‘just get the claim done and let the veteran appeal’, knowing full well that the decision is flawed under law, regulation and internal policy. It is an often repeated statement that less than 10% of veterans appeal their decision therefore just getting the claim done by hook or crook has little negative impact on the agency in reporting its annual performance. Instead, VA policy makers boast about the number of claims completed, regardless of due process errors. A year later the AFGE stated (The effect of Dingess/Hartman v. Nicholson on day to day VBA operations, 2006): “In short, the Secretary’s decision fails to provide the veteran/citizen minimal procedural due process at every stage…. VA leadership fails to understand the basic nature of due process guaranteed to every citizen or is purposefully circumventing due process requirements in the name of administrative expediency… A fundamental practical problem was that VA was summarily denying meritorious cases as “Not well grounded” in order to meet unrealistic production numbers.” Even when a veteran can get his claim to the Court of Veterans Appeals the case is most frequently remanded to the VARO that initially violated the veterans’ rights to due process. These are the same VA Regional Offices that the Court admitted to not having any control or influence over. And, the same VA Regional Offices that the AFGE claims are currently purposely denying veterans due process. What is the end result for the veteran? 1. Veterans currently have to wait an average minimum of 3 years before they can have legal representation and as reported by the Knight Ridder News Service some cases have been drawn out as long as 55 years. 2. During this process a veteran may lose his/her home, possessions and even life. The veteran (or family thereof ) may not hold the VA liable for damages. 3. According to Knight Ridder News Service over 13,000 veterans have died over the last decade while awaiting resolution of their claims. 4. When the veteran dies his/her claim dies with them and the claim can not be pursued by the spouse or family of the veteran. Veterans must be allowed the same constitutional rights of due process afforded every other citizen of the United States. Veterans must have the right to hold the Department of Veteran Affairs legally responsible for damages when the VA has denied or otherwise violated the veterans’ due process. Earlier I compared this process to applying for Social Security Disability benefits. I should point out that the main difference is that if 13,000 people died while awaiting a claims decision; were locked into a system that denies them due process; or denied the right to legal representation the public outcry would be deafening. Veterans deserve to know that the country they promised their lives too will treat them and their claims with the same constitutional rights afforded every citizen and not to be relegated to the whims of the politically or financially expedient. Sincerely, Robert L Anchors
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